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Amarnath Yatra begins: over 1,000 pilgrims left Jammu on Wednesday for the shrine

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Jammu: Over 1,000 pilgrims of the first batch of this year’s annual Amarnath Yatra left Jammu on Wednesday for the high-altitude cave shrine in Kashmir Valley.

State Health Minister Chowdhary Lal Singh flagged off a convoy of 34 vehicles carrying 1,280 pilgrims from Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas here towards the valley.

This year’s yatra to the 14,500 ft. high Himalayan cave shrine, in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, is spread over 59 days. It will begin on Thursday.

Pilgrims use the south Kashmir Pahalgam and the north Kashmir Baltal routes to reach the cave shrine.

Two base camps – one at Baltal and the other at Nunwan (Pahalgam) – have been set up from where the pilgrims will begin an uphill mountain trek to reach the cave.

The shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon. Devotees believe the ice stalagmite structure called the ‘Lingam’ symbolizes mythical powers of Lord Shiva.

A three-tier security drawn from the army, the central paramilitary forces and the state police have been deployed to guard the yatra, which has been attacked by separatist guerrillas in the past. (IANS)

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10 Media Outlets From India Selected For YouTube Funding

Other projects look at the sustainability of news organisations, including work on new business models and programmes to support a healthy news ecosystem

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10 Indian media outlets among 87 selected for YouTube funding. Pixabay

Ten media outlets from India have been selected for receiving YouTube innovation funding as part of the Google News Initiative (GNI) to help newsrooms and publishers strengthen their online video capabilities and experiment with new formats for video journalism.

These 10 news organisations – Asianet News Media and Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., Bharatiya Digital Party (BhaDiPa), FACTLY, Gaon Connection, India Today Group, Live Data Visualisation Pvt. Ltd., NDTV, NYOOOZ, ShepHertz and Video Volunteers — are among the 87 selected from 23 countries.

“Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to supporting a strong future for news video,” Timothy Katz, Director of News Partnerships, YouTube, said in a blog post on Tuesday.

“Hailing from 23 countries around the world, they represent a diverse array of broadcasters, traditional and digital publishers, local media, agencies and creators, but all share a commitment to quality journalism and a spirit of innovation,” Katz added.

YouTube is rolling out a new service "YouTube Music" on May 22 to seperate the music and film components on the Google-owned video-sharing platform.
YouTube. Pixabay

As part of the launch of Google News Initiative in March, YouTube committed $25 million funding to support the future of news.

Many of the projects selected for the innovation funding are focused on expanding newsroom video operations and trying out new ways of reporting news through video — from reaching younger audiences online to exploring live and fact-checking formats.

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Other projects look at the sustainability of news organisations, including work on new business models and programmes to support a healthy news ecosystem.

“Over the coming months, we’ll be sharing insights gained from the projects and giving newsrooms the opportunity to benefit from the learnings,” Katz added. (IANS)